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HHS launches heart attack awareness campaign for women

February 3, 2011

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Washington – Many women are unable to recognize the signs of a heart attack and only one-half would call 911 if they thought they were having one, indicates a 2009 American Heart Association survey.

In light of these findings, the Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health introduced a new initiative Feb. 1 geared toward increasing awareness of common heart attack symptoms in women, and encouraging use of emergency services when these symptoms are detected.

The “Make the Call, Don’t Miss a Beat” campaign encourages women to immediately call 911 if they feel any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain, discomfort or squeezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
  • Unusual upper body pain, or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat

The survey found that very few women recognized these conditions as symptoms of a heart attack. The new campaign also includes public service announcements and outreach via community resources and social media.

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